Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#1439: Jonathan Cahn

Jonathan Cahn is a messianic Jewish Rabbi (another one) and pastor at the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J., best known for his best-selling The Harbinger, a completely insane screed comparing the US and the September 11 attacks to ancient Israel and the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel. In particular, Cahn sees an obscure Bible passage, Isaiah 9:10, as a prophetic warning to America; that passage is “being uncannily re-enacted [since 9/11] in the U.S. just the way it originally played out in the time of the great prophet of Israel leading to the nation’s captivity and dispersions”. The book was heavily promoted by the WND in some of their classic advertisements-concealed-as-news articles. And the similarity is simply that the ancient Israelites showed determination in the face of tragedy and so are we, but to the WND and Cahn that is apparently a stunning parallel. Therefore the end-times are near. Some details can be found in the incoherent ramble described here. The book was followed by the no less impressively idiotic The Harbinger Companion: With Study Guide.

In an interview with televangelist Joni Lamb, Cahn also explained that God “allowed” 9/11 to take place because the country’s sins “brought a crack into the foundation” and removed America’s “hedge of protection,” and that the real lesson of 9/11 was that we need to ban gay marriage. Accordingly (but of course) Obama and other leaders are currently working to bring about God’s judgment, just as forewarned in the Bible – Cahn, however, claims to be working with (unnamed) members of Congress, whom he also claims are reading his book, to reverse the trend, pray and repent. (He was, in fact, scheduled to speak with Michele Bachmann at the unofficial Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast where he asserted that President Obama was leading the country into further judgment, and has palled around with the fundie crazy segments of American politics, Bachmann, Gohmert, Huckabee and so on, on several occasions.) It is, admittedly, a bit unclear what Cahn’s endgame actually is, given that he presumably is in favor of the coming of the Messiah, but I suppose the mind and religious fervor of Jonathan Cahn transcends even minimal levels of coherence and consistency.

As so many fundamentalist semi-celebrities Cahn has praised Putin for Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws and opposition to religious freedom. In the US, meanwhile, gay marriage will incur God’s wrath (or at least a “great shaking”), and God will surely judge America for rainbow lights on the White House – yeah, when you’ve run already with God’s wrath for the Supreme Court verdict it’s a bit hard to figure out what to do when something new comes up. But gay rights will at least also lead to fascism. So will Harry Potter. And apparently the Vietnam war was a divine warning related to Roe v. Wade.

More recently, Cahn has apparently penned a book about The Mystery of the Shemitah. Well, the idea is a bit complex (here is a brief intro), but the conclusion is that, based on some Old-Testament-derived number magic and impressively desperate shoehorning, the Bible turns out to predict all the stock market crashes of the last hundred years – in retrospect, of course, but apparently it is something true Christians can now use to make money (as well as, once again, heralding God’s nasty judgment). Glenn Beck pushed that one for a while until someone dangled some other garbage in front of his nose.

For a good example of how delusional Cahn actually is, this one is as good as any.

Diagnosis: Incoherently delusional madman. Needs serious help.

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